The necessity and relevance of Greek life is often called into question among today’s culture of sorority and fraternity scandals. Plagued by false stereotypes, Greeks undeservedly get a bad reputation. The Greek system has deep roots in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s history and is a mainstay of the university. More specifically, going Greek encourages academic excellence, leadership, service and brotherhood. These organizations should be viewed as a valuable aspect of UNL.
From the get-go, sororities and fraternities are a great way to stay accountable for your grades. When someone joins one of these chapters as a freshman, they’re immediately taught to set high standards for their academics. Too often in college, students accept the mentality of “Cs get degrees” and don’t strive toward anything past the bare minimum.
When you’re a member of a sorority or fraternity, you have fixed grade thresholds you must meet in order to stay a member. This is one of the core values all chapters have on campus. Some chapters even award their members when they have especially high grades. Each house’s average GPA is reported every semester, holding entire chapters accountable for maintaining a solid academic base. It’s imperative we have organizations that promote academic excellence on campus. After all, it’s the reason why we’re all here.
Aside from promoting academic success, sororities and fraternities offer amazing opportunities for gaining leadership experience. Houses often have large executive teams for leading different aspects of the chapter. This allows driven individuals to further their professional development by gaining management skills that can be transferred over to the world outside of college. Employers are constantly seeking emerging leaders to hire after graduation, and Greek life allows students to gain this knowledge. Through these elevated positions, students learn new skills they may not have otherwise.
Greek life also promotes service as one of its core components and strives to produce individuals who are connected to their community. Each chapter has at least one philanthropy, which the members raise money for through various events throughout the year. Aside from the obvious monetary benefits for those specific philanthropies, Greek members often come out more connected to a particular cause than they were before. These philanthropies can spark an interest in something the members previously had no connection to.
Having this philanthropic aspect to Greek life is a selfless act that reflects well on Greek members and the university as a whole. These opportunities to get involved with the community are another form of education that is essential to personal and professional development.
The most notable part of every sorority and fraternity is brotherhood. Oftentimes, people join these organizations specifically to connect with peers and meet individuals they likely wouldn’t have run into before. When you pledge to a chapter, you pledge to take on the same core values as thousands of other individuals before you. This is an extremely humbling process, as you’re part of something much larger than yourself. Sororities and fraternities force individuals to think not only of themselves, but of a certain vision they want to promote for the rest of the world.
Although there have been recent scandals among the Greek system, these actions aren’t indicative of the system as a whole. In almost any type of organization you’ll find a few bad apples, but you shouldn’t let those negative actions dictate the rest of the story. There are still numerous benefits to going Greek regardless of the bad examples of a few.
Sororities and fraternities offer amazing opportunities for individuals to truly get involved in their collegiate experience. Of course, there are other ways for students to be motivated academically, gain leadership experience, volunteer and make friends. However, Greek life is more all-encompassing, making joining more than worthwhile. These chapters are a phenomenal resource to the university, as they build well-rounded people with leadership and philanthropic experience. Greek life is something that should be celebrated on campus, rather than vilified.